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Dragging Mason County

Interest Age: 14–18
Grade: 9–12
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: RL.8.1,2,3,4,5,6,9
W.8.1,1a,1b,1c,1d,1e,2,2a,2b,2c,2d,2e,2f,4,5,6,7,8,9,9b,10
SL.8.1,1a,1b,1c,1d,2,3,4,5,6
L.8.1,1a,1b,1c,1d,2,2a,2b,2c,3,3a,4,4a,4b,4c,4d,5,5a,5b,5c,6

Reading Level: Lexile HL860L
Hardcover : 9781773217871, 256 pages, October 2023 , 9.0" x 6.0"
Paperback : 9781773217888, 256 pages, October 2023 , 9.0" x 6.0"

Description

 "A timely tale of friendship, self-acceptance, and the importance of proper contouring."—Kevin Christopher Snipes, author of Milo and Marcos at the End of the World

A laugh-out-loud YA debut that examines the realities of small-town queer life and celebrates the transformative power of drag—perfect for fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Pumpkin.

Peter Thompkin needs a public image overhaul. After a tense confrontation with one of the few other queer kids in his small-town high school, rumors about him are becoming more elaborate by the day. Meanwhile, his best friend Alan (aka teen drag queen Aggie Culture) is throwing Mason County’s debut Drag Extravaganza. Although Peter is a self-described “dragnostic,” he decides to help produce the show, hoping to prove that he isn’t a self-hating gay. In the process, he finds himself facing down angry guard dogs, angrier bigots, and a very high-strung church lady. As backlash grows, Peter begins to wonder whether he's setting fire to his already damaged reputation and if his friendship with Alan will survive past curtain call.

At turns touching, sharply funny, and a little absurd, Dragging Mason County explores the pains and pleasures of queer community through one teen’s journey to self-acceptance.

Awards

  • Nominated, White Pine Award, OLA 2023
  • Joint winner, Best Bets, Top Ten, OLA 2023

Reviews

“Showcasing a friendship that withstands hardship and disagreements, DRAGGING MASON COUNTY is a comedic novel in which queer teenagers butt against small minds, but still put on a heartwarming, showstopping display of selfdiscovery.”

- Foreword Reviews, September/October 2023

“In taking a microscope to issues such as allyship, anti-fatness, anxiety, insecurity, and internalized homophobia, debut author Campbell presents an impassioned homage to queer community and culture that proffers clever and laugh-out-loud explorations of self-expression and acceptance.”

- Publishers Weekly, *starred review, 08/17/23

“The verbal swordplay from the drag queens plus the generally cutting remarks from the other high schoolers give the novel an edge; many of the characters’ defenses will feel relatable for some readers . . . Fabulously acerbic.”

- Kirkus Reviews, 07/29/23

“[Campbell] utilizes large doses of humor without pulling any punches in order to shine a light on issues many LGBTQ+ teens face today. Fans of Julie Murphy’s Pumpkin (2021) will delight in this candid and campy account of teenage angst.”

- Booklist, 10/12/23

“[A] witty and charming young adult novel that encourages learning to be kinder to oneself and others … the themes of friendship, self-acceptance, and forgiveness are essential ones for teens, and the novel does a beautiful job of weaving together the stories of characters doing the best they can.”

- Quill & Quire, *starred review, 11/23